We recently spoke to Aldo Kane about his current role on Expedition with Steve Backshall (Dave, Sundays, 8pm), where we got the lowdown on the challenges he faces when heading out into unchartered territory. Exploring unforgiving landscapes and navigating the most demanding terrains.
However, the one question many of you are keen to know the answer to is, how Aldo manages to keep himself in top physical shape while undertaking such gruelling missions?
Added to that, after a career in the military and with a wealth of experience at his disposal, what are the pieces of kit he couldn’t live without when it comes to expedition time? So, we asked him…
It’s hard to train with different types of expeditions that I do, so I maintain a relatively decent level of fitness which is completely functional.
I’m not in the gym doing arm curls so I’ve got this chiselled bodybuilders body which is pretty useless for me when you’re carrying extra heavy weight.
So everything that I do that I’ve been posting really has been about what training I do, and I’m not a personal trainer, so I’ve not gone into huge amounts of detail about it, it’s just a case of this is what I do.
And it’s usually pre expeditions where I’m building on strength, I do quite a lot of bar work, cross-fit type stuff.
And then also I love calisthenics, pull-ups, press-ups, dips and then the kettlebells I’m always on them. So between those three, strength and barbells, kettlebells and calisthenics, that’s like my main go-to.
Then I’ll also try and get two or three six-mile runs in the week in there. And they’re as much for my headspace as they are for anything else. It’s a case of getting out and clearing the cobwebs.
Then when I’m on the expedition is much more a case of maintenance, often you’re too tired to be training.
It depends what job it is, but generally, if it’s an expedition, then what we’re doing is mobility and stretching, that’s the biggest thing that we can do.
Sometimes I take a TRX set with me and if it’s not too strenuous an expedition or we’ve got a few days down I’ll use that just to maintain.
Really all it’s about doing is building a resilient body that has that bounce-back-ability from injuries or the ability to graft into the night and on into the next day and the next night along with carrying lots of things. Basically, it’s all functional.
The Expedition Fit Workout
Circuit One – 5 sets of the following:
1: 20 x Push Up with Pike (feet suspended)
2: 20 x Pistol Squats with Bicep Curl
3: 20 x Normal Burpees
4: 20 x Deltoid smash (T&Y)
5: 20 x Inverted Row with single leg raise
6: 20 x Double-Unders
All numbers can be scaled up or down
Circuit Two (Bar work & Bodyweight) – 5 sets of the following:
1: 10 x thrusters @ 42 kg
2: 20 x Bar hop Burpees
3: 20 x Front Squat @ 60kg
4: 10 x Strict Pull – ups
5: 10 x Squat Clean @ 60kg.
6: 20 x Press Ups.
7: 25 x Double Unders.
Keep up with all of Aldo’s Expedition Fit updates HERE
Travel Kit Essentials
As far as kit is concerned, all expeditions are different. You’ll have expedition specific kit for kayaking for climbing for caving. But generally you break it down into food, water, shelter.
I’ll always have a hammock I use, that’s a Hennesy hammock. And I use that more than camping. I’ve either got a tent or I’ve got a hammock.The tent I use is a Mountain Hardwear Trango. Obviously, you’ve got a Thermarest for the sleeping and the sleeping bag. So that’s the shelter bit taken care of.
For food I use an MSR reactor, they are amazing. They boil the shit out of water in like a minute and a half. They don’t have a flame as such, they do, but the pot sits onto it, so it’s very efficient, the wind doesn’t blow it.So I use that and I also use a titanium long reach spoon, now we’re getting technical. So I can boil up the water for the dehydrated rations and eat it with that.
I always take a mug and a filter for coffee, that’s expedition 101. I’ve tried loads of coffee filters over the years, but I use an AeroPress.
The best set up I’ve found is I’ve got an Aladdin thermos mug and MSR do a little insert for that that fits into the top of it and it’s just a filter so you just put your coffee in that and bosh.
Water is obviously the big one wherever you go. I’ve tried a multitude of filters over the years, but the best I’ve found is the MSR hand pump filter. I used it in the last show in Suriname.
A water filter is pretty much a basic thing for expeditions. You can have clean drinking water anywhere in the world and they don’t weigh that much.
I always carry a knife. I always have a Leatherman Multi-tool and I’ve always got a Bushcraft knife. And if you’re in the jungle that changes to a machete.
Then I always have a first aid bag, even if it’s just myself I always have even a small first aid bag with a couple of dressings, tourniquet, bandages, all the basics.
So basically I would just say food, water, shelter and everything else is a derivative of that.
The pack I use is an Osprey pack. Those packs are pretty decent. I’ve used the same one on the last ten expeditions we’ve been on. They’re pretty bombproof.
A watch is essential on trips. A mapping compass, I always have that. Even though we use GPS and tractors and other books and things I always carry a mapping compass. Old school for when all the tech goes down.
And I always have a sat phone and tracker with me. As my job is much more along the lines of safety. A headtorch is also essential.
One important thing that many people don’t do is to make sure everything is waterproofed. Rucksacks aren’t waterproof, so you buy a separate canoe bag or a big Osprey 100 litre bag and put that inside your rucksack.
Then for ease, I pack everything separately into these waterproof bags and they’ll all go inside so that you can just pull them out and put them on the floor then your stuff isn’t getting wet and trashed. So individually waterproofing everything is key.
So there you have it, all the kit essentials necessary for an expedition into the great unknown, and, advice on how to build a body strong enough to carry it all.
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